Exhausted? Same.

I’m not at my best at the moment. 

To be honest, I doubt many of us are.

Last night, as I tossed and turned after a long day, I was ruminating about the one thing I’m confident many of us have thought about recently:

“How is it December? Where the fuck did the year go?”

I’ve noticed this everywhere in my daily interactions over the past few weeks. We’re all scrambling in this mad dash to get to the end of the year.

It’s a chronic tendency of our modern lives to find ourselves steamrolling to the end of year holiday period, only to fall into a heap, completely burnt out. It’s as if we give ourselves permission to collapse at christmas time because it’s the holidays and we “deserve” a break.

But do we really “deserve” to reach breaking point before allowing ourselves time for recovery?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. We’re trying to clear our plates, scrap up every last bit of 2023 and reset the inboxes to get cracking in 2024. Does that mean we have to take on the extra load of work and responsibility in order to earn our break?


It doesn’t have to be this way. As someone who has faced numerous challenges and learned how to overcome adversity, I have come to understand the importance of prioritising self-care on a daily basis. And with my partnership with Black Dog Institute, I am more passionate than ever about sharing these tools and techniques for mental wellness.

Instead of pushing through, I’ve decided to take a step back and practise what I preach. Before you reach that breaking point this holiday season, join me in taking proactive steps towards preventing burnout and maintaining emotional balance. Here’s how:

Micro-recovery time

Micro recoveries are short and manageable practices incorporated throughout the day to help replenish energy, manage stress, and avoid burnout. They can be as simple as taking a few intentional breaths, standing up and stretching, or stepping outside for a moment to feel the sun on your skin.

The concept relies on the idea that we don’t need to wait until the end of the day, or even the end of the week, to rest and recover. By incorporating these brief moments of pause and self-care throughout the day, we can manage our energy more effectively, enhance our productivity, and cultivate a more balanced mental state. They’re not grand gestures of self-care, but small, consistent actions that can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing.

For our Awake Academy Tribe, the tasks that we incorporate into the Own Your Truth Course are the perfect examples of micro-recoveries that you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Four rounds of box breathing
  • Intentional breathing
  • Five minutes of meditation
  • Five minutes of journaling
  • Taking an intentional break from the office or the computer to soak up some sun – check out the 7 doctors (in round 7 of Own Your Truth)!

If you can’t find time for at least one act of self-care each and every day,  you’re setting yourself up for burnout and failure. Make it a priority and incorporate it into your daily routine now, before the end of year rush hits and stress levels skyrocket. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

How do we incorporate micro recoveries into our day? In three steps:

1. Recognise what recoveries can fit into your day/schedule

We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for the time we do have available. Take a moment to assess your daily routine and identify small pockets of time that could be used for micro recoveries. Maybe it’s during your morning commute, before a meeting starts, or a specific 10 minute window each day.

2. Put an alarm on your phone that will make you do it

I know you have a phone, so I know you can do this one. 

Set an alarm or reminder on your phone for a time that you’ve identified as being able to accommodate a micro recovery. When the alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing and take that break.

3. Notice and take note of how you feel after it

It’s important to reinforce the good things you do for yourself each day.

“Notice” means to acknowledge to yourself that you’re proud of finding the time to prioritise you! Yes, believe it or not, it’s okay to give yourself a pat on the back!

“Take note” means to write it down each and every day. Whether it becomes a part of your journaling practice, or simply a note you write into your notes app on your phone each day, you will be amazed after a month of small wins, how your mood will shift. When we notice positive change and anchor ourselves in it, we become motivated to do it again.

Recognise and nourish what you need

Many of us are plagued by the misleading interpretation that prioritising self-care means acting selfishly. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Self-care isn’t about ignoring our responsibilities or disregarding the needs of others. Instead, it’s about acknowledging the fundamental truth that we cannot give what we do not have. By taking time each day, no matter how small, to replenish our own wells, we’re ensuring that we have the energy, the patience, and the emotional capacity to give back to the world around us.

So, as we prepare to round off this year and begin anew, let’s shift our perspective. Let’s recognise that self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. Let’s remember that to care for others effectively, we first need to care for ourselves. Because at the end of the day, we can only serve others from our own overflow.

Remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.

You’ve got this!

Layne xx

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